Alcorn State spoils another opponent’s homecoming

Published 8:04 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (AP) — Alcorn State is proving without a doubt that it should not be your homecoming opponent.

Noah Johnson threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns. and De’Shawn Waller ran for 120 yards and a score as Alcorn State spoiled its third straight opponent’s homecoming, this time beating Prairie View 27-13 on Saturday.

The Braves (7-2, 6-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) already spoiled homecoming at Mississippi Valley State and at Alabama A&M and were playing their third conference game against an opponent coming off a bye week.

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“We came out and played hard today. The team played with a lot of speed and really fought. We played with a sense of urgency,” Alcorn coach Fred McNair said. “Though at the same time, we still have a lot to work on. I still don’t think we’re there yet. We have to be better in a lot of areas and I just feel that we haven’t played to our full potential.”

Alcorn will take a break from conference play next week to face Football Bowl Subdivision opponent New Mexico State.

Alcorn can clinch the SWAC East Division title with a win over Jackson State in the season finale on Nov. 17, or with losses by JSU and Alabama State before then.

Alcorn held a 512-235 advantage in total yards against Prairie View (3-5, 2-2), including a 249-61 disparity in rushing. Prairie View did not score an offensive touchdown. Its points came on an 81-yard kickoff return by Bernard Goodwater and two field goals by Zach Elder.

Alcorn picked off two passes and sacked Prairie View quarterback Jalen Morton five times. Brelion Hollis had a career-high 12 tackles and one sack.

Morton was 16-of-33 passing for 174 yards.

“It’s no secret that our defense has been solid all year. We did a great job of stopping the run today which put a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” McNair said.

Johnson hit Chris Blair with a 30-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-3 lead in the first quarter, but Goodwater returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to put Prairie View up 10-7.

Corey McCullough kicked field goals from 39 and 20 yards out and Dayall Harris pulled in a 44-yard TD pass from Johnson for a 20-10 Alcorn lead at intermission.

Prairie View got back within a touchdown on Elder’s 31-yard field goal with 5:46 left in the game, but Waller sealed Alcorn’s victory with a 26-yard touchdown run with 1:34 to go.

“That play was just about execution. We work on perfecting the little things every day in practice and it paid off on that play,” Waller said of his touchdown. “It was a read to the right and our right tackle, right guard and wide receivers did a great job of getting down field and making blocks. The rest of our guys did what they had to do and it opened it up for me.”